Milly Tamarez is a stand-up, writer, and comedic actor based out of Brooklyn, New York. She has written for the Onion Studios, Reductress, BRIC, and has been featured on Vice, BET, Above Average, Univision, and Comedy Central.
This week, Tamarez talked with me about some of her favorite jokes online and Flexx, the satirical website she founded.
Unfortunately the patriarchy has set it up so that people constantly brag about the fact that they have a boyfriend as a flex to people who are perpetually single (me). And don’t get me wrong, meeting a guy who doesn’t suck enough to pass the 30-day trial period of dating IS an accomplishment, but these girls won’t shut the fuck up about it, and then when I stalk his IG later this dude will look like the human embodiment of a plain bagel (not toasted, not even butter, just plain AF) and its like, OMG shut up.
What do you get out of being on Twitter?
I am a textbook extrovert. I love being around people and feeling connected, but in New York I can’t constantly be out because lol I am broke as fuck. So I have to work my strenuous day job, be at a show, or I am just too broke and tired to be out, so Twitter gives me the best of both worlds were I am talking to people about current events but from the comfort of my bed/couch.
This was a silly one, but also, as someone who was always followed around stores because store attendants would assume I was shoplifting, I think bragging about loving to shoplift is the most privileged thing, and, yes, almost 100 percent of the time these girls are white. They have no idea what it’s like. The worst case for me was being followed like white on rice in a RAINBOW in Hollywood, Florida. Exactly what the fuck do you think I am going to steal from there? A $1 neon-green thong that says Tuesday on it? Back the fuck off me.
Do you prefer topical or evergreen tweets?
I think a good Twitter has a bit of both. Being on top of current events is great so people can know your take on it, but it can also be exhausting to livetweet every award show, State of the Union, and racist pop-culture moment. Too many evergreen tweets makes it seem like you are in la-la land and not attached to reality at all, and sometimes I plan to post a tweet at a given time and then something happens, and its like, Damn, its inappropriate to share that now. I think one of the biggest faux pas of our generation is being perceived as tone-deaf.
At this point it’s cliché to say that people “only share the highlights of their life” on social media, but my hot take is that there is a VERY thin line between sharing only the highlights and sharing every bad breakup, family fight, and health scare on social for the masses to consume (but also please never stop sharing that, I love reading it lol). So for me I want to let people know that I am working really hard and sacrificing a lot to follow my dreams, and it’s not just all fun and games in this comedy shit — and by “fun and games,” it’s just watching TV with your family and watching a commercial and saying, “I know her!” and your whole family rolling their eyes; that’s fun. My date that night also ripped his pants.
How has the way you tweet changed over time?
I used to just retweet all the damn time and share my best jokes on Twitter. I discovered that my voice was getting buried in the words of others, but once I started getting more precious about retweets I started getting less precious with what I shared of my own and started experimenting and getting really surprised by what people reacted to. I also have anxiety about being too vulnerable on Twitter, but on the rare occasions I share something really near and dear to my heart — people respond really well to that.
This was a dumb tweet that I was super surprised people liked. I think there is a dumb, absurd comedic space that people of color have just begun to enter. To have absurdist comedy and puns with “urban” or ethnic references is one of my favorite things about Twitter. I really try to highlight this in the POC satire magazine I created, Flexx, because I find that social media would not be the same without people of color, but no one out there is parodying the way POCs use the internet (as much as I feel like they should) because all the major satire houses are still mostly white. So I was like, I will just make my own, which was super hard and took a year, but now it’s up and running and very dumb and fun.
Tell us more about Flexx! What spurred you to start it?
With Flexx I just realized that no one is making satirical-commentary “urban” websites, mostly because they do not have the staff to do it. So I thought, What if we had the Onion, but people of color? and thus, Flexx was born. We spent a year looking at all the sites we wanted to poke fun at and got mentored by people who ran other satire websites (Funny or Die, ClickHole, Reductress) and got the best way of working for us, and I have a strong team of people of color who are also super funny.
What’s been the biggest surprise of running Flexx?
One of our most popular articles is from back in June, and it’s titled “I Love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Fine Ass … Policies.” The article is an “Op-Ed” but it’s really written by Flexx editor Diana Chan (with help from the rest of the editorial team). The article is pretty funny in that it is coming from the point of view of a guy who thinks AOC is hot but is also interested in socialism, and it’s poking fun at those dudes. That article always gets a TON of traffic even though it came out so long ago. When you Google “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” and “ass” it’s the first result. SMH.